Imagine the dangerous life of an early Christian. You've embraced your newfound faith in Christ but fear the risk of persecution or death at the hands of the pagans living around you. Then a trusted friend tells you about some of Jesus' followers who secretly meet. He whispers into your ear, "Look for a fish carved in a paving stone" by a certain home on the Via Tiburtina. You smile in gratitude.
Still today, modern society recognizes those Christian symbols that kept the early Christians safely connected: they appear on churches, bumper stickers, mugs — even mints and stuffed animals. Yet we are often ignorant of the rich meaning of these symbols: their origins in Scripture, in ancient culture, and in the preaching of the Church Fathers.
In this book, noted author Mike Aquilina conducts an intriguing and insightful tour of the symbols that expressed the life and devotion of the Church through the first four centuries of its existence. He explains how Christians freely borrowed pagan and Jewish symbols, giving them new, distinctly Christian meanings. Recover the zeal of our spiritual ancestors as you learn to read their symbolic language — and discover the impact the symbols still have on your life today.
More than a hundred illustrations, reproduced by artist Lea Marie Ravotti from the ancient originals, beautifully complement the text.